The battle against climate change is reaching a critical juncture. To limit global temperature increases to 1.5ºC by 2050, we need innovative solutions, and a recent report by Boston Consulting Group highlights the pivotal role of hydrogen and carbon capture and storage in this quest. However, it’s not just technology we need; it’s a massive financial investment of 13 billion euros.
Titled ‘Breaking the Finance Barrier for Hydrogen and Carbon Capture,’ the report underlines that this level of investment is required on a global scale. In Europe, the bill is estimated at 1.2 billion euros. What’s crucial is that commercial banks hold the key to unlocking these funds. They represent a unique opportunity to create a competitive advantage in the fight against climate change.
Hydrogen and carbon capture and storage technologies are termed “essential solutions” for some of the most challenging sectors to decarbonize. These include industries that rely heavily on heat, such as steel, cement, and glass production, as well as fertilizer manufacturing and transportation. The trouble is that banks and other financial institutions have yet to fully mobilize the necessary financing tools to drive the rapid expansion of these crucial technologies.
One notable step towards decarbonization through green hydrogen has been taken by Toyota, in collaboration with energy company Repsol. They have jointly installed a 2.5-megawatt electrolyzer at the Petronor refinery in Bilbao, Spain, representing an investment of 11 million euros. This electrolyzer provides the capacity to generate 350 tons of green hydrogen annually, primarily for industrial applications within the refinery.
Looking ahead, Petronor, a subsidiary of Repsol, will fuel its new 2nd Generation Toyota Mirai, sourced through Alba Emission Free Energy, a subsidiary tasked with consolidating all decarbonization and energy transition initiatives. Its areas of focus include renewable hydrogen, synthetic fuels, distributed generation, sustainable mobility, and the circular economy.
This green hydrogen will not only serve mobility within the technology park but also power the Energy Intelligence Center (EIC) building. It’s a significant leap towards decarbonizing fuel production at the refinery and making renewable hydrogen available to the Abanto-Zierbena Technology Park. This initiative positions the park as Europe’s first to enjoy a continuous supply of renewable hydrogen.
The launch of this electrolyzer is just the starting point for Repsol’s ambitious journey to play a leading role in the green hydrogen race in Spain, where other industry giants are also making their moves.
This project will also bolster the Basque Hydrogen Corridor (BH2C), an initiative led by Petronor and Repsol, aiming to enhance the economic standing of the Basque Country and Spain at large. It serves to advance decarbonization and promote strategic sectors, with mobility in the limelight. Toyota, as a pioneer in fuel cell vehicles, plays a significant role in this corridor.
The consortium driving BH2C brings together over 80 companies, institutions, and research centers. They are involved in diverse projects and plan to mobilize more than 1.4 billion euros to establish the region as a global leader in renewable hydrogen.
However, this is only the inaugural phase of the strategic commitment. Petronor has more extensive plans, including launching a 10-megawatt electrolyzer in the coming years, dedicated to supplying one of the world’s largest synthetic fuel plants with green hydrogen. Furthermore, a third ‘megaelectrolyzer,’ boasting a whopping 100 megawatts of capacity, is in the pipeline. This enormous project serves Petronor’s decarbonization efforts and caters to the requirements of the Basque Hydrogen Corridor.
This grand-scale endeavor underscores the magnitude of the challenge and the massive investments needed to drive hydrogen and carbon capture technologies forward. It’s a race against time to save the planet, and it’s one where the financial sector holds a key to unlocking the solution.